Fairy lights, manger scenes and the fragrance of plum cake and yule logs across the city signalled the onset of Christmas festivities on Saturday.
Ahead of the special late-night mass on Christmas Eve, churches across the city were covered in lights, with some, like Afghan church at Colaba, featuring Christmas trees at the altar and flowers adorning both sides of the central aisle.
“We are expecting over 5,000 people for the open-air mass,” said Edwin D’Souza, rector of the Don Bosco church at Matunga.
In addition to the religious festivities, Mumbaiites were looking forward to a leisurely Sunday meal with families and friends. Those relishing the prospect of a roast turkey for lunch, however, were in for a bit of a disappointment — shops selling turkey nearly ran out of stock on Saturday. Vendors blamed it on a dip in supply from poultry farms on the outskirts of the city and the few remaining birds were selling at Rs 2,500 a pair.
Several gaothans or urban villages across the city were decorated with Christmas lights and buntings. The Mobai Gaothan Panchayat, a governing body of city gaothans, organised competitions to mark the occasion. Awards will be given out to the best-decorated gaothan and the best-decorated Christmas crib in a gaothan.